Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT) in partnership with Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation Centre (Gender Centre) has held a forum for stakeholders on women’s rights and “Voice Initiative.”
The meeting, which formed part of activities for the one-year Rural Women’s Rights and Voice Initiative (RUWORAVI) project, is also in partnership with Alliance for Women in Media Africa (AWMA), with support from the Commonwealth Foundation and attracted participants from the Gomoa East District of the Central Region.
Mrs Patricia Blankson Akakpo, Programmes Manager for NETRIGHT, said RUWORAVI formed part of its advocacy to promote gender-responsive reforms, especially at the community level in the District.
She said the project, which started in October 2019 and would end on November 30, 2020, also sought to empower rural women by strengthening their collective voice to engage and influence policy spaces at all levels.
Mrs Akakpo said since its inception, the project had trained 27 participants to lead community dialogue on issues around women’s human rights, local governance and gender-based violence.
“The trained participants are also empowering women in their communities to engage in policy processes at the district level and especially how to engage the district assemblies to ensure that issues that are critical to women and girls are addressed within the assembly,” she said.
Mrs Akakpo said, “After the training, the trained beneficiaries are leading the advocacy initiative, but it is also good to explore entry points that they can engage because they are expected to engage local actors within the community.”
She said gender inequality was pervasive on all counts and attributed some reasons to deep-seated parochial norms, which impacted on stereotypes and influenced perceptions of women’s capabilities and roles.
Madam Elizabeth Ahiadormey, Assembly Member for Dasum/ Amoanda Electoral Area, a participant, said: “We are committed to gender equality, non-discrimination and more generally to the principle of equitable distribution of local resources in ensuring that the needs of the most vulnerable in the communities are met.”
She said, “In our support for women and girl’s empowerment and gender-responsive development, we pledge to sustain the Women’s Advocacy Platform to lead advocacy initiatives in their communities and the district.”
Madam Ahiadormey said they would collaborate as critical actors to ensure that the District Assembly undertook a gender-responsive planning and budgeting.